Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I tune my instrument here at the door. –Donne

Satisfy us by your lovingkindness in the morning. Psalm 90:14

Jesus taught us, saying: “Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.”  John 15:4-5

Lewis writes about how often our daily experiences crowd our prayer into the margin or sometimes off the page altogether. Why is this true if indeed we were created “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”? What can be done with a rose tree that dislikes producing roses?

Is it perhaps because we shrink from too naked a contact, because we are afraid of the divine demands upon which it might make too audible? As one old writer says, many a Christian prays faintly “lest God might really hear him, which he poor man, never intended.”

If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be a delight. Some day, please God, it will be. The same is true of any other behaviours which now appear as duties. If I loved my neighbor as myself, most of the actions which are now my moral duty would flow out of me as spontaneously as song from a lark or fragrance from a flower. Why is that not so yet?

The very activities for which we were created are, while we live on earth, variously impeded. Not to practice them is to abandon our humanity. To practice them spontaneously and delightfully is not yet possible. This situation creates the category of duty, the whole specifically moral realm.

It exists to be transcended. Here is the paradox of Christianity. As practical imperatives for here and now the two great commandments that have to be translated, “Behave as if you loved God and man.”

The Law, a schoolmaster, as St. Paul says, to bring us to Christ.

But the school days, please God, are numbered.

 And as I head out into the day, to teach young minds grammar, so to speak, so that they will someday be able to read poetry, may I slip into those moments, those glimpses of glory, unimplored, unsought, Happy for man so coming, that refresh and delight in You.

Even now, come Lord Jesus, come.